DigiLit Sunday: Digital Voice

Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche offered the topic of Digital Voice for her Sunday DigiLit Link up.  A first my mind was a blank. CqLKoPIVYAAZCI0.jpg

I was on the way to school, not thinking about this topic, listening to Jan Burkins on Voxer. She was talking about starting the year with a video or voice recorded conference to document how kids (and teachers) grow over the course of the year. Walking to my classroom, it hit me.  Funny how the obvious is hidden.

Voice recording is an easy and unobtrusive way to confer with students. I can do it with a multitude of apps. The simplest one being the voice memo on my iPhone. I just have to have my phone when I sit down in a conference. If you plan to make a habit of voice recording, Evernote has been my friend. I can capture student’s voice and take pictures of their work. I can also add in my thoughts via text.

The beauty of voice recording is that it allows you to listen and look at a student as you listen and then re-listen later. What I heard in the moment and what was actually said is not always the same. For those of you that are trying to up your conferring game (aren’t we all?), voice recording is perfect for documentation and reflection.

At this point, all of my Voxer friends can skip to the end of the post. Those of you who haven’t given it a try, read on.

We use “talk” as a strategy in our classrooms to grow ideas. We need to take this approach to heart. Troublesome worries linger in our minds waiting to become ideas.  Something about the act of talking helps work the ideas out.

Voxer is a voice messaging app. It allows you to record voice messages (text, pictures, and video) and send them to individuals or groups in a designated chat. The messages sit on the recipient’s phone or computer in a stream by time recorded.

I know there are many out there who are shaking their heads, saying no, I can’t take another way to connect. I get it. But. As with all tools, we select ones for particular situations.  Try it with one or two friends, colleagues or family members. It might be a relationship separated by time zones or classrooms. Think of your teaching partner who left your school and is now down the street at another school. The one you used to talk to all the time. That one. (Richard, are you listening?)  Set up a chat with that person. You will be amazed.